The 24 Hour Experience: Executive Creative Director Gorkem Acaroglu

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The 24 Hour Experience: Executive Creative Director Gorkem Acaroglu

Celebrating the ordinary is not something we normally do, but the upcoming 24 Hour Experience in Ballarat gives you the chance to do just that. Creating live performances across the town every hour for 24 hours, executive creative director Gorkem Acaroglu and her team have brought together a group of close to 150 artists to make the town come to life.
“It is a living documentary of the contemporary perspectives of a place,” Acaroglu shares.
“You watch a documentary film, but rather than watching it on screen, you’re actually living it. So you’re actually there, present, in the place with the people, experiencing what goes on.”
Kicking off the event by meeting an Aboriginal elder at Black Hill Lookout, the Experience will take people into the Mechanics Institute, where they will enjoy a choir performance in the presence of ancient books; allow them to explore the cosmos with an astrophysicist during the midnight trip to the Observatory; and give people a chance to meet real life models over breakfast.
“[It’s about] getting really unique insights into the kind of hidden voices and perspectives of Ballarat,” Acaroglu says, who initially brought the event to Melbourne last year.
Inspired by her experience as a live theatre director, her passion for live performance will spread itself across Ballarat, ushering the audience into public spaces and more private nooks and crannies for a series of unique performances.
24 HR Experience“I really wanted to find a way to be able to explore different stories, and people, and voices, within a kind of immersive way that an audience could actually feel and be present in. And that’s sort of how the idea started. So it started with this idea of you know, what is the essence of the place, of a town, a city, and what is it like over a 24 hour period?”
With passes available for 6, 12 or 24 hour periods, there is no shortage of entertainment, and the audience will be guided through the Experience as they travel by foot and bus to each new destination.
“The things I’m really excited about are the diverse kind of things that you’re going to experience and how you go from one to the other,” Acaroglu shares.
“I’m really excited that some of them we won’t be able to see until the moment. So the Day Voices is going to be really exciting because it’s going to have singers across three towers in the town, singing across town, with local people standing on pedestals as statues down below celebrating the significance of ordinary, every day people.”
With partners including the local council and the Australia Council for the Arts, ticket holders will be given a ‘survival pack’ and chair to help them through the Experience. Meals, snacks and resting stations will also be provided.
“So what happens is because it’s [a] one off unique event for only a certain group of people that do the event, you actually bond with this group of people…The longer you do the event the more incredible it is, because you’re bonding with these people, and you’re experiencing something that you’re never going to experience again,” Acaroglu says. “It’s celebrating the ordinary and the everyday and the magic of that.”
For a peek into what truly makes the people of Ballarat tick, the 24 Hour Experience will be held on November 21-22. Tickets are available at
Written by Jessica Morris
When & Where: Various locations in Ballarat – November 21-22